LAHORE: T20I captain Babar Azam has been appointed the skipper in ODI format as well, while Azhar Ali has been confirmed as Test captain in the 2020-21 season.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) made the disclosure while announcing its list of centrally contracted players. Azhar Ali has been confirmed as Test captain while Babar Azam will lead Pakistan in ODIs and T20Is in the upcoming season.
“I want to congratulate Azhar Ali and Babar Azam for getting captaincy extensions. This is absolutely the right decision as they also require certainty and clarity on their future roles,” said head coach Misbah-ul-Haq.
“I am sure they will now start looking to the future and start planning so that they can build sides that can perform at the expected levels.”
The ODI captaincy’s status had been unclear since last year when Sarfaraz Ahmed was sacked after the 2019 World Cup. The captaincy was mired in uncertainty as no ODIs scheduled for the remainder of the season.
Babar Azam’s rise in cricket has seen him stamp his authority across all formats. He remains the only batsman to be ranked in the top-five in all three forms of the game at the moment.
Babar was earlier appointed T20I skipper ahead of the Australia tour last year, where his team fared poorly and was humiliated in the three-match series. Later, he earned his first series victory in charge of the side after defeating Bangladesh 2-0 at home in January.
In the forthcoming season, Pakistan is scheduled to play two T20Is in Ireland (July), three Tests and three T20Is in England (July-September), three ODIs and three T20Is in South Africa (October).
This will be followed by three ODIs and three T20Is at home against Zimbabwe (November), two tests and three T20Is in New Zealand (December), two Tests and three T20Is at home against South Africa (January 2021) and two Tests and three T20Is in Zimbabwe (April 2021).
In addition to these bilateral series, Pakistan will also feature in the Asia Cup T20 tournament and the ICC T20 Men’s World Cup 2020 in Australia.